Posted by: penpatience | February 1, 2015


SI ExifDear Readers:

 Writers Words:  You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page.  You can’t edit a blank page. – Jodie Picoult




Death and dying – a taboo subject pushed to the back of busy minds where mortality and its consequences are often kept in unconscious denial. Many people don’t have time or inclination to plan for the last hurrah on our planet, Earth– until it happens. And then it’s too late….


  • Auntie Kathy, with tears leaking from the corners of her aged eyes, decides to sing “Amazing Grace” at the funeral service and never could carry a tune.
  • A confused family congregates in the deceased now empty home hovering over a Will dated ten years previous scanning names for bequests and inheritances. No one is aware if an updated version exists until the attorney arrives.
  • The oldest sibling digs a life insurance policy from a safe box; the others breathe a sigh of relief. How much is the policy worth? Will there be any money left over? Who are the beneficiaries?
  • Two relatives are sitting on the couch, heads together, whispering back and forth, arguing over the distribution of perceived valuables and family heirlooms.
  • Weird Uncle Larry has a macabre habit of taking pictures of dead relatives before the caskets are closed.

As I previously mentioned in the March 2014 Monthly Musing, “Do It Yourself Obituary,” the most read Musing by my readers; only you can communicate your desires to family members before your demise. Although it’s not the most pleasant task, it is a win-win situation for you and family members:

  • You receive a personally designed and pre-planned celebration of your life.
  • Grief-stricken family members are spared the stress and confusion during a time when sorrow and fatigue can cloud and exacerbate the decision-making process.

Some thoughts on a Do It Yourself Funeral:

Write a Will. Age should not be a factor in consideration of drafting a Will. If you have a spouse, children, and assets, you need a Will. Along with the usual considerations included in this document, funeral arrangement preferences may also be included. Today, new options are available for Pre-Planning and Pre-Paying funeral arrangements. Individuals customize traditional or design non-traditional services and memorials. Caskets or crematory urns, epitaphs can also be chosen in advance. The burden of these important decisions is lifted from the bereaved family removing the opportunity for discord and disagreements among them. It’s a done deal!

Online Technology, local funeral homes, cemeteries are all sites where Do It Yourself Funeral planners can find necessary information. Listed below are a few resources:

P.S. – nobody wants to hear Auntie Kathy sing……….


Note: Ruby’s arrangements were pre-planned. Her Paw Print was immortalized and saved two weeks in advance of her final appointment with the veterinarian together with a scheduled, private cremation. Her ashes were returned to my son to be buried at home.


  1. Well, Gaye, I haven’t made time to think about my funeral yet. But I’ve already gathered a basket of sympathies for the one who’d have to clean out our basement (should it not be me)! Awards have been given for lesser things, like making a trip to the moon, or inventing latex!


  2. ah yes, the basement. leave it be. someone will get to it–eventually. thanks for the feedback Carole.


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